NanoPoblano, Day 26: Thanksgiving 2.0

Happy Thanksgiving to all my buddies who hail from the land of stars, stripes, and crying eagles.

As a Canadian who already got all this crap out of the way a month ago, American Thanksgiving feels a little like deja vu, but I do have to give you credit for having yours on a Thursday because thanks to Black Friday you guys have basically managed to milk that shit into a full-blown four day weekend.

Whereas with our inferior Monday version, we have to go back to work on Tuesday like suckers instead of getting up at 5am and lining up for the chance to trample people over discounted merchandise at Walmart.

So go forth, my clever friends. Eat, drink, be merry, be safe, and always remember the most important thing:

Calories don’t count on holidays.


 

The sound of silence.

My dad snores loud enough to wake the dead. Possibly literally. He may very well be the reason zombies are a thing, though nothing’s been conclusively proven.

On childhood camping trips with my family, his lawnmower-like respirations were further amplified, echoing recursively inside the RV as though we were overnighting with an army of determined groundskeepers on an endless field of uncut grass.

My husband grew up with a younger brother. For the sake of his sanity, he quickly learned to sleep through anything.

I was an only child. I did not have that advantage.

My mother had long ago turned to ear plugs and white noise to try to drown out her husband’s schnozz thunder. During our road trip forays down coastlines and through national parks in the giant metal sausage we called a recreational vehicle, I would inevitably beg a spare pair of ear plugs off her after a handful of sleepless nights. She would laugh at the request, reminding me that my few weeks of suffering in a rumbling tin can were peanuts compared to what she had to put up with year-round, but she always took pity on me in the end.

I don’t know why I bothered, though, because just as inevitably, they wouldn’t work.

Most modern ear plugs are shaped, logically, like an ear canal. The ones my mother bought in bulk looked more like obese miniature marshmallows.

Mini marshmallows are not generally known for their soundproofing capabilities. I don’t know what the noise reduction rating was on my mother’s preferred spongy yellow ear confections, but it was never enough to fully mute the sound of my father trying to inhale the curtains.

To make matters worse, for all the squishing and coaxing and maneuvering it took to get them situated just right, I would get only one, maybe two decent hours of sleep before my ears would manage to strategically dislodge them.

I would wake suddenly, bleary-eyed and disoriented, thinking for all the world that I had somehow managed to sleepwalk into an active logging site, and terrified that someone might yell “Timmmberrrrrrr!” at any moment.

Then I would realize it was just the snore factory on the opposite bunk, singing the song of his people.

I would only ever find one of the escaped ear plugs. Without fail the other member of the pair had either snuck out quietly in the night, thumbed a ride, and was halfway to Mexico, or else just spontaneously vaporized out of sheer stress. I hope those vanished plugs found peace, wherever they went, because I sure as hell didn’t.

The year my parents bought me a Sony Walkman, I gave up on the whole ear plug idea for good, because headphones stayed put better and staticky radio was a lot easier to fall asleep to than a large man’s uvular warblings.

Fast forward a couple of decades.

I bought them on a whim. A 12-pack of logically-shaped, attractively colored ear plugs that actually looked capable of fitting in a human ear without the use of brute force and thinly veiled threats.

What the hell, I thought, maybe I actually might get some sleep on that 10 hour flight to Japan.

My husband and I will be jetting off to the land of sushi and weird-flavored KitKats for a long-awaited vacation in the not-so-distant future. By airline law, there will be at least one crying baby on the plane, three passengers with persistent phlegmy coughs which they will make no effort to suppress, a chronic sneezer in the seat directly behind mine, and a chatty couple in the middle of the row who want to be friends with everyone whether everyone likes it or not.

And as I have never successfully slept on a plane while wearing headphones, I figured giving ear plugs another shot couldn’t hurt.

So I took them home, tossed the package on the dresser next to my travel pillow and other carry-on staples I’ve begun stockpiling like a squirrel, and promptly forgot about them.

Then Canadian Thanksgiving happened.

Look, I don’t want to name names or point fingers, but if certain persons decide to invite company over for a holiday weekend involving large number of people in a small space, generally it’s polite to inform your guests that you’ve recently contracted the plague before they’ve taken an overpriced ferry across the Strait of Georgia to come stay with you. Just sayin’.

Everyone, and I mean everyone was sick with the flu when we arrived. It was Thanksgiving at the Virus Factory. Dinner at Typhoid Mary’s. Weekend with the Walking Dead. Apparently they were somehow able to prepare a full turkey feast, but not capable of picking up a phone to let us know that maybe we shouldn’t come over because HYGIENE.

Long story short, giving thanks gave us germs. Everyone who wasn’t already sick when they arrived damn sure was by the time they left.

I got off lucky, landing myself a nagging case of the sniffles and the occasional coughing fit.

Nutty Hubby was not so fortunate. By the time we hopped back on the ferry home, he was feverish and his nose was running like a faucet. His coughs rattled the tempered glass windows.

And that night, the snores began. The obstreperous nocturne of the stuffy-nosed infirm. The Ghost of Flu Season Present, come to haunt me.

It’s not his fault. He’s sick. He can’t help it. I will remain calm. I will remain rational. I will not smother my husband with my pillow. I will not smother my husband with my pillow…

I was one more tortured rumble away from moving to the living room couch when I remembered the ear plugs on the dresser. Why not, I thought. Let’s take ’em for a test drive.

Oh. My. God.

I didn’t even need to get the shit kicked out of me first.

Friends, ear plugs have come a long way. I don’t know what took me so long to give them a second chance, but I never want to take those beautiful pastel bastards out of my ears again as long as I live.

No snores disturb my slumber.

No clunking footsteps or furniture scraping on upstairs floorboards can jolt me back to alertness just as I’m finally starting to doze off.

No sound can touch me, save for the beating of my own heart. It’s like being underwater in a cool, still lake.

How beautiful, the sound of silence.

So I’m more excited than ever for the flight to Japan.  Just lemme at that motherfucking plane. I’m pumped. I’m set. I’m…pretty much deaf, really.

DO YOUR WORST, CRYING BABY.

Thanks for the perspective.

Being Canadian, it’s kind of weird going on the internet on a Thursday in November and seeing endless photos of golden turkeys, plentiful side dishes (ranging from delicious-looking to highly questionable) and freshly baked pies all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds. If you listen carefully towards the north, you can hear all the bemused Canucks scratching our heads, going “Didn’t we just do all this last month?”

 

But since everyone seems to be on a Thanksgiving thanks giving roll and I hate feeling left out, and because schadenfreude is the gift that keeps on giving, I thought I’d take this time to share a few of the recent search terms that have led to my blog, because at the very least you can be thankful you’re not any of these people.

(Unless one of these searches actually is yours. In which case I would suggest making a beeline for the nearest bar, because sometimes sobriety is overrated.)

“my computer just made a terrifying crunching noise”
Okay, so you remembered to keep the turkey bones safely away from your pets so they won’t choke, but you didn’t realize that your computer was sentient…and hungry. Rookie mistake. Your mechanical beastie got into the garbage and and now there’s chewed up bone and turkey drippings all over the motherboard. Distract your computer with Thanksgiving-themed cat gifs while you clean up the mess, then set a nice image of a holiday pie as the desktop background so it won’t be tempted to go back for dessert.

Image and video hosting by HilariousGIFs.com

 

“vegan hipster”
This guy was eating Tofurky before it was cool. Technically anyone who’s ever eaten Tofurky can say that, hipster or not, because eating Tofurky has never been cool and never will be.

“nut all over me”
Okay, so you dropped the pecan pie. It’s now all down the front of your cute holiday apron. And somehow in your hair. And your ear. It’s okay. Just calmly excuse yourself and go take a hot shower with a bottle of bourbon. Everyone else has already had too much wine to really notice you’re gone. And the dog will gladly dispose of the pie bits on the floor in your absence.

“turn my son into a whore”
Whoa whoa whoa, you save that human trafficking talk for your Christmas letter to Santa, buster. Tom Turkey don’t grant no wishes.

“penis through monitor”
I know the holidays can be lonely sometimes, but I’m not sure you quite understand how cybersex works. Although you just gave all the ER docs and nurses who have to work on Thanksgiving a great story to tell their friends, so at least you can take some comfort in the fact that you’ve brought joy to others.

“I’m single but I act like I’m taken”
It’s okay. I know you’re sick of your family asking when you’re going to find “the one” already and settle down and get married. But just remember, that “my girlfriend lives in Canada” story is only going to hold up for so long. Better to simply dodge any relationship questions and deflect the attention onto someone else. Like your Uncle Randy, who showed up late for dinner walking kinda funny and muttering something about a computer monitor…

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American blog buddies. Have fun and stay safe.